Sizing ocean giants: patterns of intraspecific size variation in marine megafauna

Overview of attention for article published in PeerJ, January 2015
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#6 of 3,059)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (98th percentile)

Readers on

mendeley
101 Mendeley
Title
Sizing ocean giants: patterns of intraspecific size variation in marine megafauna
Published in
PeerJ, January 2015
DOI 10.7717/peerj.715
Pubmed ID
Authors

Craig R. McClain, Meghan A. Balk, Mark C. Benfield, Trevor A. Branch, Catherine Chen, James Cosgrove, Alistair D.M. Dove, Lindsay C. Gaskins, Rebecca R. Helm, Frederick G. Hochberg, Frank B. Lee, Andrea Marshall, Steven E. McMurray, Caroline Schanche, Shane N. Stone, Andrew D. Thaler

Abstract

What are the greatest sizes that the largest marine megafauna obtain? This is a simple question with a difficult and complex answer. Many of the largest-sized species occur in the world's oceans. For many of these, rarity, remoteness, and quite simply the logistics of measuring these giants has made obtaining accurate size measurements difficult. Inaccurate reports of maximum sizes run rampant through the scientific literature and popular media. Moreover, how intraspecific variation in the body sizes of these animals relates to sex, population structure, the environment, and interactions with humans remains underappreciated. Here, we review and analyze body size for 25 ocean giants ranging across the animal kingdom. For each taxon we document body size for the largest known marine species of several clades. We also analyze intraspecific variation and identify the largest known individuals for each species. Where data allows, we analyze spatial and temporal intraspecific size variation. We also provide allometric scaling equations between different size measurements as resources to other researchers. In some cases, the lack of data prevents us from fully examining these topics and instead we specifically highlight these deficiencies and the barriers that exist for data collection. Overall, we found considerable variability in intraspecific size distributions from strongly left- to strongly right-skewed. We provide several allometric equations that allow for estimation of total lengths and weights from more easily obtained measurements. In several cases, we also quantify considerable geographic variation and decreases in size likely attributed to humans.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 101 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 8 8%
Brazil 3 3%
France 2 2%
Portugal 2 2%
Germany 1 <1%
Australia 1 <1%
Italy 1 <1%
Poland 1 <1%
Finland 1 <1%
Other 4 4%
Unknown 77 76%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 36 36%
Researcher 24 24%
Student > Master 13 13%
Student > Bachelor 7 7%
Professor > Associate Professor 6 6%
Other 15 15%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 63 62%
Environmental Science 15 15%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 15 15%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 2 2%
Medicine and Dentistry 2 2%
Other 4 4%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1002. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 16 February 2017.
All research outputs
#1,370
of 7,436,473 outputs
Outputs from PeerJ
#6
of 3,059 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#73
of 234,748 outputs
Outputs of similar age from PeerJ
#1
of 90 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 7,436,473 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 3,059 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 21.1. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 234,748 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 90 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.